Environmental problems or issues refer to the negative elements of human activities on the environment. Some of the major environmental issues include pollution, climate change, resource depletion and environmental degradation (Carson p.22-25). It is currently evident that human beings are living unsustainably due to the environmental problems. In order for this to happen, natural resources must be used in such a rate that it is possible to replenish. This has not been happening especially in the developing nations. This has caused unprecedented poverty in these countries and taken a toll on lives in these nations. In the past decade about 2.4 billion individuals were affected by climate-related disasters, as compared to about 1.7 billion people in the previous decade. The cost of responding to these disasters has gone up tenfold from the year 1992 to the year 2008. There have been destructive floods, serious topical storms and draughts. Unfortunately these effects are felt more in the developing nations.
Thesis statement: To help solve the global environmental challenges, people should spend more time increasing the awareness of the significance of protecting the planet that they live on, and they also should take the responsibility to take care of the earth by doing ordinary things.
Analysis of the environmental challenges
Environmental concern has become a key issue allover the world. The modern day world has experienced massive pollution and degradation of environment leading to a call for alarm to change the situation. The field of politics and more so in the developed world has not been spared by this issue and the candidates for elective positions are supposed to state the policies they are going to put in place to end the crisis of environmental pollution. Professionals in the environmental science field can not afford even to wink when their field is being attacked by problems left, right and center. Because of this, they have developed different sub-fields and courses to recruit more people in the fight against environmental degradation. In the list of the sub-fields is environmental toxicology. Environmental toxicology is a sub-field of environmental science that studies how exposure to contaminated chemicals can directly change the health of persons and their atmosphere. Exposure to these lethal chemicals can also have indirect effects for example affecting the flora and fauna, lakes, and the ozone layer negatively (Leopold & Schwartzp.6). Of late we have noticed changes in the climate for worst, forests turning into deserts, deep lakes drying up and earthquakes which are stronger than any others that have been experienced in history.
The soil which is the main source of the food that we eat has not been spared, with environmental toxicologists reporting rampant soil erosion resulting from acid rains (Leopold, A. & Schwartzp.6). For many people, water is life but water is no longer life but a cause of diseases and deaths. The effect of soil erosion coupled with the industrial activities release heavy metals to our water sources leading to contamination. Environmental toxicologist researchers have found that the amount and effects of these metallic elements are of high density and toxic to humans in even in negligible doses (Omohundro, 70).Due to the contamination of water bodies, the aquatic life has also suffered (Hansen.p31). For instance, the nitrogen, carbon and phosphorous gases produced in our industries and later deposited to the water bodies can be harmful to the animals and plants found in these bodies. This has been proved to be the primary cause of the substantial fish kills in the water bodies. This further affects human life since diet cannot be complete without eating sea foods (Hansen.p31).
The most alarming assaults on the environment by man have been pollution (Carson, 6). The pollution has lead to contamination in the air, rivers, earth and the sea with lethal substances and materials. Air pollution violation dates back to (Omohundro, 70) hence a major reason of concern. The major consequence of pollution is irrecoverable as it does result to chain of events in the environment. The tissues that do support life in the world are killed that is the major results and leads to an irreversible results. In the environment the major substances that pollute it are the chemicals which are the recognizable partners of radiations in changing the very nature of the world (Carson, 6). The major contributors of the pollutants are the industrial businesses which are associated with the economic growth. The industrial world should be in the forefront in advocating for eco-friendly disposal of effluents from their industrial activities. Nuclear explosions that are done by the military go to the air and do come down to the environment as rain or drifts down as fallouts. They go to the extent that the results affect the soil, grass, corn and also wheat which grow in the fields and ending up in the human systems through the consumptions of the products harvested. Through these the results of pollution is catastrophic as the resulted chain of events ultimately affects the human race. This will lead to a malnourished society, health problems and affect the climatic conditions. The industrial world may turn out to disagree with this but the processes that they initiate them ultimately affect the society. They should have a social responsibility in enhancing the continuity and preservation of the environment as they are also a major beneficiary of the environment.
Addressing environmental problems and other issues that affect life in the developing nations will only be effective if they are addressed from these countries’ perspective. This is through active involvement of the countries that are affected by these problems. It is important that most of the conventions held on environmental and related issues be held in the developing nations in order to engage them. It is not enough for the developed nations to address the issue of climate change in their own world while their industries are moving to the developed nations and taking their operations with them (Masur & Eric, 2011). They carry on the environmental degradation and carbon emissions in these countries. This means that if the problem is to be adequately addressed, there is need to find ways to mitigate emissions and environmental degradation by the multinational corporations. Additionally development of the multinational corporations should not be done in such a way that benefits the home countries only, while causing more problems to the host countries. This has always been the case and need to be changed. International policies should be developed such that they protect the developing nations from the devastating effects of these companies. Failure to comply with the developed policies and protection measures should lead to dismissal from the host countries. This way, the developing nations will be protected from the economic selfishness of the developed world.
Rockstrom states that let the environment guide our development. This is as a result of the human growth which is straining the earth’s resources. Rockstrom reminds us that through our advanced science technology it has enabled us to be able to accept this and change our behaviors as we do interact with the environment. This can be achieved through adopting environmental friendly methods and putting the environment first without having to conceal our vested interests first. As environmentalist may tend to advocate for such issues the anti-environmentalists in the industrial would be carrying fowl in relation to their business interests. His research has been able to identify nine planetary boundaries that can enable us in protecting our ecosystem. The earth is able to regulate itself but due to the increasing activities by man it is disrupting it. The world is a natural self sustaining system, for example the climates and seasons that are there they do occur at certain intervals but as a result of the human activities it has lead to alteration of the seasons and rise in the natural calamities. Rockstrom efforts have lead scientists to be able to define the nine systems in earth that need to be kept within bounds so as the earth to keep itself balanced.
Williams (704) shows the overwhelming complacency that today’s culture are showing towards nature. Today’s culture is not in touch with nature as it does not take into account the results of its activities to the environment are. If the nation does not take into action the morals of the society regarding what the environment contributes to the human race we will be heading to a dark future. The future generation does depend on the environment too as we do if there was no environment the current human race would not be in existence. Both the environment and the economic growth are two important aspects in the existence of man but we should try to find a way they should coexist. The economic growth does depend on the environment for materials and so it does benefit so as it also should create awareness for the benefit of the environment. The benefits the industrial world should be reciprocated and enhanced in research of development of new environmental friendly processes in their daily activities. The human race has become greed and vanities and quest for self-fulfillment have been catered to far too much (Williams, 704). As man what to just reap big without taking into account the nature as no one believes the repercussions that may rise.
The rise in economic activities with the rapid increase in the population in the world has been a major reason on the straining of the environmental resources. This has led to the activities which lead to other chain actions polluting the environment at the end. The ethical culture of not owning a farm to enhance nature has its weaknesses. Owning one will make one understand what environmental importance that lead to the availability of grocery and the influence of other environmental elements such as heat (Leopold & Schwartz, 6). There will be understanding that the environment does play a crucial role in the enhancement of our daily lives. This will also enable us develop ethical behaviors in the protection of the environment and its sustainability for also the generations to come. Understanding the environment will make the society not to take it for granted but to embrace and protect for the good of everyone (Williams p. 704).
The young people have been associated with nature (Abate, 57). Young children are seen as possessing the uncontaminated beauty, innocence as the environment. The environmental theme on the young children often does challenge the belief of the longstanding interaction. Instead of nature being seen as the refuge of the young people it is now facing challenged such as pollution, overexploitation and the extinction of other species. The green environment is under attack by us the human’s and such messages not only contribute to the controversial status and often resistant readership of the environmentally themed children’s books. These leads to the impact among the young people in reexamining themselves on their role, function and position in the prevailing conflict between the adult civilization and unadulterated nature (Abate, 57). The problems facing the environment does also affect the children hence the need to be involved in the process of sustaining the environment. Both DR. Lorax and truax do reflect the close connection between the children and nature (Abate, 57) and their books does address the messages that should be addressed to the young people concerning the environmental problems. Lorax does address the children to take active role in the sustaining of the environment. It includes in the challenges that the environment does face such as pollution and deforestation. Children can be able to organize the environmental days where they could be involved in the planting of trees and cleaning of the environment. Through these developments of ethical values in the environment, it can lead to the development of a concerned generation if future. It can lead to emphasize of creating a pollution free environment and condemning the concerned parties to avert such outcome.
The Lewis anti-pollution law was introduced in 1941 because there wee the conflicting issues on whether sewage or rural run-off was the culprit (Singer, 120). The military needs of Trux field lead to the burke plant to reopen in 1942. The effluent that by-passed the lakes at the time and there was the presence of economic measures, false information from communications, inconclusive action and lack of government and citizens hampered the progress of disposal. The fact that copper sulfate treatment of the lake to curb the burgeoning algae growth dropped from freight car is a proof of how sewage drainage can produce the better without polluting the environment. The environment should be treated with care as it is the main source of resource available. There should be development of new eco-friendly processes and advocacy for use in the society. This will enhance the peaceful coexistence between the human race and nature as we can not without each other. The earlier we learn to balance the two the better for the protection of our future (Singer p. 120).
With commitment from all countries around the world, the Kyoto Protocol seems to be an effective way of fighting global warming. A number of environmentalists have supported the agreement in the view that it is expected that future commitments to the reduction of emissions may come with a demand for serious measures. The agreement is a small but crucial step towards the solution of global warming. The World Bank reported that the protocol had a slight effect in fighting global warming as per the year 2010. Despite the fact that the agreement was initiated in 1997, by the year 2005, the emissions had gone up to 24 percent. There is also very limited financial support to the developing nations in assisting them to reduce emission and commit to climate change (Prins et. al, 2010).
The government is putting a lot of effort to help reduce global warming. One of the efforts made by the government was the passing and implementing the Clean Air Act to ensure fewer emissions. This act requires companies to manufacture products that are less harmful to the environment. There is a part of this law that states that one should not put a particular amount of pollutants in the atmosphere (Weartp.42). There were products such as hairsprays that had this problem. Production and use of these products emitted a lot of volatile organic compounds, O-zone destroying compounds and related gases into the atmosphere. Currently the law has required that all these products have a label indicating their effects to the environment. The law has also required car-manufacturing firms to change some of the items inside a car. Motor vehicles are known to be one of the chief polluting factors. They produce more than 50 percent of the smoke worldwide. Many of the things that cars require to start and keep moving produce a lot of pollution. Gasoline is a fossil fuel that produces a lot of greenhouse gases when it is burned (Prins et. al, 2010).
One of the solutions that individuals have sought in the efforts to deal with global warming is carpooling. This is driving together if you are ended to the same place instead of taking separate cars. This minimizes the emissions put into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuel used by cars. The other things that people have been encouraged to do is stop leaving items such as TV, computer and the lights turned on. People are spending more time outdoors which means they are most of the times away from the television and light. They might not know, but this is a great help towards fighting global warming (Prins, G. et. alp.11). Many people have realized the benefit of riding buses, walking and riding bikes as a way of reducing global warming. Many people have been motivated to carry out tree planting exercises. This is due to the fact that planting trees helps in lowering the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Recycling has also been encouraged as a way of dealing with global warming. When there is recycling, less trash is thrown out and this means that less will be burnt. People have also been encouraged to be careful on what they purchase. There are different products that are manufactured without a lot of impact to the environment. With limiting human activities that emit more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, both individuals and the community are involved in reducing global warming. Where everyone takes the responsibility of reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere there is the possibility of gaining a lot in the fight against global warming (Prins et. al, 2010).
In order to effect the change that is necessary to see the environment pollution free and sustainable in all areas of development, it is very necessary that people find it in themselves to be the agent of change. This is from the individual basis to the governments and even to the country level. In any case, environmentalists have little role to ply if their efforts and sensitization processes are falling on deaf ears.
Carson, R: Silent Spring; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002 p.22-25
Rockstrom, J.: presentation: Let the environment guide our development. https://www.ted.com/talks/johan_rockstrom_let_the_environment_guide_our_development.html
Leopold, A. & Schwartz, C. W.: A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There Outdoor Essays & Reflections; Oxford University Press, 1989 p.6
Abate, M. A.: Raising Your Kids Right: Children's Literature and American Political Conservatism; Rutgers University Press, 2010 p.57-58
Singer, S. F.: Global Effects of Environmental Pollution: A Symposium Organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Held in Dallas, Texas, December 1968; Springer, 1970 p. 120
Williams,J,2001,Save the Whales, Screw the Shrimp p. 704
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